Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

I have not been a mom long, and I only have one child. That said, I did go through a full 9 months being pregnant and gave birth to an 8 lb 14.5 oz baby girl. I tore, lost blood, cried (a lot), and all while in a relatively new environment. 

My husband and I moved to Southwest Florida when I was 21 weeks pregnant. It was a very exciting time for us, but it also brought so much stress that I went into a depression.

Pregnancy hormones really messed with my body and emotions anyway, but adding in a move to another state took me to another level. 

Every day for the first week or two, I would call my mom and cry. She consistently told me to take my fears and anxiety to Jesus, and she told me to take magnesium. I did both of those things, and I will not say that my anxiety disappeared overnight. In fact, I still had issues throughout pregnancy and the 6 weeks postpartum, but it was definitely different.

It was more about my mindset than anything.

The Lord brought me out of the darkness through a church and the community there, family, and honestly a park.

My husband and I would take walks at a very nice park nearby any time we could, and once our daughter was born, we started taking her. 

Now, I’m a new mama, and I still call my mama almost every day to ask her questions. I’m not an expert on any one topic, and I haven’t been a mother long enough to feel comfortable to give parenting advice, but I do want to tell you 9 things I wish I had been told or taken seriously during pregnancy, especially since my mom wasn’t right around the corner. 

  1. Be your own advocate

When I moved I had to find a new doctor, and I had no friends to ask. My husband asked around to anyone he met, and I went to the first doctor that was recommended.

While she was amazing, I had to see all 3 doctors at that office on rotation until my baby was born. 2 out of 3 doctors were helpful, but one of them disregarded issues I had and said it was just pregnancy.

Because of her disregard, I had multiple issues that were not looked at or treated for at least a month. My entire family was angry, my husband was worried, and I was laid up in bed wrapped around my

  •  It’s okay to be tired
  • You are tired. You may have never been so tired. You may feel a little like you’re dying. Take a nap if you can. It’s okay.

    Maybe you can’t make it out with friends as much as you could before. Maybe you don’t feel up to staying up as late as you used to. That’s okay.

    It’s really okay to rest.

    It’s okay to yawn.

    It’s okay to get a pizza because you just can’t cook tonight.

    Maybe make sure you are getting enough iron, but don’t blame yourself if you just need a break and a nap.

    Your to-do list will get done eventually. Take care of yourself and the baby growing inside you.

    1.  Drink all the water in whatever form you can get it

    Ok so, maybe not whatever form you can get it, but then again, maybe. I did not drink enough water and I know it added to the issues I was having.

    I also could have used a probiotic and more bioavailable vitamin, but you live and you learn.

    Water would have been the most important. I drank a ton of milk (that was my craving) but not enough water, and water helps everything!

    I did drink an awesome pregnancy tea with red raspberry leaves in it (supposed to help support your uterus and give you better contractions. Talk to your doctor or midwife), and I loved it. I think it was helpful, and it increased my fluid intake.

    There are so many ways to make water taste better now, even just adding fruit or mint or both can do wonders. That may be my biggest regret along with not getting enough exercise.

    I was depressed at that time, so I try not to spend a lot of time blaming myself in order not to get depressed again, but if I get pregnant again, those are two things I want to do more of, drink water and get some kind of exercise.

    1. You’re not crazy (probably)

    So going from that, you’re not crazy.

    You really are tired, hungry, sick, sad, happy, in pain, thrilled, and terrified. Maybe you’re none of those things, but you’re something else.

    Pregnancy does things to your body and mind that are crazy, but that doesn’t make you crazy.

    Billions of women have gone through this and made it to the other side, scarred, but alive.

    The feelings you feel or don’t feel are valid, and you can do this. When your partner doesn’t understand why you’re crying during a movie you have seen a hundred times and never cried in before, just know, you’re not alone.

    You’re not crazy.

    It’s just a crazy time.

    17 weeks (I think?) just starting to really notice the bump.
    1. You’re not alone, so ask for help

    So yes, you’re going through a lot, but you’re not alone. There are so many of us who have done this or are doing it right alongside you.

    Ask for help!

    One thing I find in most women, in general, is that they want to help. Men do too, there is just a sisterhood thing that I notice more often. Maybe that is because I am a woman, but whatever it is, most women want to help. Even if they can’t, they will ask someone else.

    I was offered help several times during my pregnancy, but I didn’t need any help at the time, usually; until about 36 weeks when my husband and family decided I shouldn’t drive anymore. Thankfully, I wasn’t working, but it was very limiting.

    We didn’t know what was wrong at the time, but I kept having dizzy spells and blacking out. At one point, I passed out, and that is when I was no longer allowed to drive. That’s when I had to ask for help.

    We knew there was at least one doctor’s appointment I had that my husband couldn’t drive me to and my driving became out of the question. My family wasn’t around, so we started asking people at our church.

    It was awkward and not everyone was available, but they asked around too! They didn’t want me to hurt me or my baby driving, and they wanted to help get me to my appointment. I appreciated it so much!

    I had to ask for help, and they had no problem with it. People also don’t like to step on other people’s toes, so they will wait to be asked.

    If someone offers help, try to find a way to take it if you can.

    If you need help, ask.

    It’s okay to ask.

    You are in a very vulnerable time in your life, so let yourself be vulnerable.

    You’re not alone.

    1.  You can’t catch up on sleep before the baby is born, but sleeping is good when possible

    If I had a dollar for every time someone said or I read, “sleep now because you won’t be able to sleep when the baby gets here.” I could have started my daughter’s college fund with that money and not had to worry about her paying for her education.

    I was told by one person that it really is not true, and I was so thankful someone said that to me.

    I was so tired, but I was having a very hard time sleeping because pregnancy is not comfortable. I took naps when I could, which is great, but once my daughter came, I was still exhausted.

    Labor wears you out in general, but you can’t bank sleep.

    You can rest to try and help your body prepare, but it won’t magically help you feel rested once your child comes into the world and interrupts your sleep every few hours.

    This is not to discourage you, it’s just reality.

    Also, it is all a stage, and your baby will sleep eventually. Maybe not as long as you want them to, but waking up every 2 hours all day and night does not last forever, and there are lots of resources to help you through this. Also, if the dishes don’t get washed and the laundry doesn’t get done because you had to nap with the baby, that’s okay too. Order a pizza for dinner. Taking care of your baby and healing from post partum are your top priorities.

    Daddy sleeping with baby. My sister told me if they were both asleep, I should be too.
    1. Your baby needs very little in the beginning

    If you don’t feel prepared because everywhere you look you see nurseries with everything money can buy in them and you don’t have all of that, it’s okay. I was living in a one-bedroom apartment, so when my daughter was born we had a mini crib, and that was about it.

    My father-in-law used to tell my mother-in-law that all a baby needs is a place to sleep, food, and a diaper.

    As I would talk to my MIL before their first grandchild was born, she would remind me of this fact, and she was right. In fact we cycled through the same 5 outfits that we owned for her for the first 5 weeks of her life until she was given some hand-me-downs and I was able to take her back to my husband’s and my native state for baby showers.

    We did have a few blankets and a few other little things, but you don’t need much.

    Babies need food, diapers, a place to sleep, and lots and lots of love. That’s it.

    It might be helpful for you to have a few other gadgets and gear, but you can get by without them, and your baby will be just fine. 

    1. Get prepared for down there

    So, that is a little difficult because nothing can really “prepare” you for what is going to happen, but having a few things on hand (namely a “healing” spray and ice packs) is helpful.

    I started watching a video while I was pregnant with these two women in a car talking about how no one tells you the truth of what is going to happen to your body and how awful it is.

    I quit watching before they said too much so that I wouldn’t freak myself out, and I’m glad I did.

    I watched it after my daughter was born, and while the women were right, there was nothing that they said that would have made it better or changed anything.

    If you have a midwife or an open-minded doctor, I would ask them if there is anything you can do to prepare downstairs for pushing a baby out, or if you know you will be having a C-section, anything for that, other than kegels.

    My sister did squats, like 100 or more for the last 6 weeks, to prepare herself. She pushed one of her children out in like 3 pushes. I will be trying to do squats my whole pregnancy next time, though 3 pushes are not guaranteed with squats.

    Another thing I will prepare is ice packs, whether that be frozen diapers or buying the Fridamom postpartum kit.

    Not everyone tears their perineum or has awful hemorrhoids (though some of us do), but you will still probably be tender and have some pain no matter what.

    You will be okay. You can do this, and there are things to make it a little easier.

    1. You’re gonna be okay

    If you read nothing else, I hope you read this.

    You’re gonna be okay.

    Through all of the pre-partum and postpartum hormones, the exhaustion, the fear, and the pain, you are strong.

    You are growing a human inside of you, and as difficult as that maybe, you can do this.

    Take care of yourself and don’t let anyone get you down.

    I talked to Jesus a lot during my pregnancy and sang a lot. Do what you need to do. Pray, journal, read, take walks, slather on essential oils (I personally would consult a reference to make sure they are safe, but most are in my limited knowledge).

    Ask for help if you need it, but you are a person and people are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.

    Billions of women have had babies, so take a breath.

    You got this!

    There you go! I hope it helps someone through an exciting and difficult time. Please write in the comments about some things you wish you had known during pregnancy. 

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *